tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 11, 2012 9:00am-12:00pm EDT
overwhelming support of the tory party, but more, we had, had a few major issues in which we had on the half of our readers, particularly on afghanistan, fallen out with gordon brown's government. i think around march 2009, may have been a bit later, i think that's when gordon brown announced that the referendum that had been promised in the 2005 manifesto in the european constitution, they were going to renege on that promise. and again, i think it was a male or the telegraph and "the sun" who particularly "the sun," i shall just be to "the sun," called within four a special election in the autumn of 2000. because his referendum was a hard-fought battle, population
live far wanted that referendum on the constitution. so we have followed up with each other but i still saw him. >> that wasn't really the question at all. by the 31st of march, 2009, "the sun" was moving towards the conservative party, is that true or not? >> sorry, i thought i had said at the beginning in answer to that question, that was quite the way i would describe it, more we were running out of ways to support mr. brown's government. >> moving towards withdrawing its support for the liberal party, could we agree on that formulation? >> we could. >> could i just ask about one sentence in what you just said? you spoke of, just find it, --
>> recorded questioning from earlier today, and now back to live coverage of former news international chief executive rebekah brooks, testifying on british phonak and the relationship between the press and politicians. >> do you recall occasion at the time the labour party brighton in september 2004 when chris brown mp had been speaking at a meeting and argued that rupert murdoch should not be allowed -- do you recall that? >> i don't, i'm afraid. i'm sorry. what data was it? >> 2004. as he arrived at the news international reception, you approached mr. blair. do recall that? >> i think i know what anecdote
you're referring to. >> it's not an anecdote. and a witness statement i've seen, you said mr. brown, shouldn't you be out of comment by now, or something like it. did you say that? >> i don't wind up saying that, no. >> do you remember what your husband said? >> i remember what mr. bright said my husband said. >> he was extremely rude, wasn't he? >> mr. bright? >> no, your husband. >> i don't think he said that. >> mr. watzman, you had him for mr. watzman. mr. watzman would say, or will say, following his, mr. watson, resignation in 2006, is a veteran? >> that that's what mr. watson which they? >> no. but there's underlying truth to it.
and you have come you have encouraged "the sun" to write adverse maternal about him, is a veteran? >> no, i -- story. "the sun" has covered and has written adverse things about mr. watson. i think mr. watson is referring to an incident, and i can't remember, i think 2006, when he galvanized troops as backbench rebellions in order to form mr. blair to resign. it was a situation where the night before mr. watson publish the letter in which mr. bryant was on all slightly, calling for tony blair to step down. he had driven halfway across scotland to see mr. brown. and when the newspapers confronted mr. watson answered you clearly tell mr. brown to me famously said no, i was just a living a comments that take dvd.
and i think the subsequent coverage, not just in "the sun" but the times and lots of newspapers very quickly of mr. watzman i think that's where it are regions from. >> did you ask another sun journalist to write stories about mr. watson that the new were completely untrue? >> no. >> did you tell others the political editor of the bbc, in august 2011, or rather did you speak to him at the labour party conference in 2009, along the lines what am i going to get about tom watson? >> i may have done, yes, but i can't remove are saying that exactly. >> do you feel that you might have used "the sun" as an unfair means of disparaging politicians you did not particularly like?
>> no. i don't actually. >> now, go back to the bskyb issue, and paragraphs 90-92 of her witness statement please, mrs. brooks. >> yes. >> paragraph 90, you say in the fourth line, third line, many people sought to weigh the issue with me. and i became involved in defending the bid to them. so you're suggesting there you are adopting a defensive position, is that right? >> well, i see lots of people at that time as well. so not necessarily, just politicians. the fact is it was a common
misconception, and often reported that news international was trying to buy the remainder of bskyb rather than news corp. and that subtle distinction therefore because was in the uk territory was perhaps understandably got confused. and so yes, there were occasions when i defended the did. >> you do also in paragraph 90, the next page, when the conversation, i'm sure as i would expect my views forcibly, particularly given the opposition, it might be said that stronger in your eyes the more strong you need to be. would you agree? >> i think, i think the anti-sky did alliance, so many different members of all of the meat at all other rivals of sky, and that day, i knew were seeing politicians and i think dr. cable have a dinner with them early on in 2010.
so i think yes, i did. when i met eva, if i had the chance to put our side of the story, so to speak, i would. >> and those people included mr. cameron and mr. osborne, didn't they? >> not mr. cameron. i had a conversation with mr. on four. i've may have mentioned it to mr. cameron but it's not to be dwelt on because it wasn't a particularly long conversation but i did have a conversation with mr. osborne about it i think sometime in 2010. where i put my views, country -- contrary to the once feared from everyone else. >> comeback to the in a short time. paragraph 92 of her statement, you say with regard to this just in i had discussions with those with david cameron and george osborne, i'm sure i did refer to the issue generally. is that statement relevant to
both mr. cameron and mr. osborne? >> yes, but general discussion in terms, always in relation to usually in relation to something i'd heard that the anti-sky bid had put forward. but i remember better conversation with george osborne sometime in 2010, but obviously as discussed, and the bskyb he did was mention at the dinner at our home in december but i don't them having a particularly forceful conversation with mr. cameron about it. although our views on the bskyb bid, news corp you and news international views or my views were pretty -- [inaudible] >> where they shared by mr. cameron? >> mr. cameron always made it very clear that it was, or it was agreeing light judicial decision and it wasn't him and it was not up to them.
he i think have been lobbied by lots of other people. so i would say no, it wasn't particularly sheer. he was always very evenhanded about it. >> was mr. cameron supportive of the bskyb to your knowledge? >> not particularly, no. i think it would be fair to say that he understood why we wanted to present our position in relation to the other lobbying he was getting. >> was mr. osborne supportive of the bskyb bid to? >> he never said so. he never said explicitly that. however, i think one of the points that we, or we are trying to make about the bid was if, if that kind of level of investment was coming into the uk, that contrary to the anti-sky bid online for saying that it would be, it would be a bad thing, that actually we thought into call centers around the country,
the creation of jobs, that we were tried to put this argument to mr. osborne. but again, they would all say the same thing, it's not my decision. >> think my question was only was he supportive of the bid to? >> as i said, he never explicitly said so. >> could you confirm whether he was supportive or not? >> no. he was interested in our argument. i think that's probably his best. >> we are aware of the role of fred michel in relation to the big? >> well, i was aware at the time but not to the extent that i have not seen. but i was aware, yes. >> so when you say to the extent that you now see, are you referring to the e-mails of? >> yes, but i had realize there were that many e-mails. >> when did you read those e-mails of? >> i actually still haven't read them all. >> you saw some? >> i saw some during the evidence given by james murdoch.
>> and when they were drawn to our attention that way, did it surprise you in any way? >> will i think the truth is at the time, at the time the bskyb bid, i suppose, like most journalists i viewed public affairs and obvious with quite skepticism and often thought that mr. michel's perhaps overextended position. however, he was doing his job. you know, he was passing on information as lobbyists do. >> how do you know he was overrating his position of? >> i suppose because as journalists we would have quite direct contact with ministers and prime ministers, you know, in the course of our work. but i always thought it was slightly strange that he had
that level. not quite strange. that's not fair. the level that came out was pretty good really. >> a couple of documents, 163 e-mails, picture you, only a couple. krm-18. we have one of them under tab 17 in the bundle. we can probably put it up on the screen. i'm not sure if would be available to anybody else. in the file, 101,657, you may have it as a separate piece of paper. let us know.
>> i do, thank you. >> it relates to the 12th of october 2010, and you were copied in an e-mail from a mr. michel. are you with me? mr. anderson, we heard what mr. james murdoch explain who he is. can you remind me? >> fred michel is public affairs for news corp europe and asia, and matthew anderson is corporate communicate should for news corp. >> the general gist of this e-mail is, the bid is still with dr. cable. this is before the 21st of december, it's necessary to keep briefings and key cabinet ministers. why do you think you were copied on this e-mail? >> i'm not sure because i wasn't copied on many of them. so i don't know.
there would be regular meetings between the news corp people who were in charge of the bid, and occasionally maybe i was in that meeting. i don't know why i was copied on this particularly. >> reference to the next one, which is same file, t. r. o. p-10 thousand 16 at -- >> hang on. just before it -- sorry, which? 1679? >> yes. >> that were probably the only one you have in that file spent all three e-mails speak to i found an earlier one. the most relevant one is 1679 which you will have on tap 17. >> yes. the one that starts very good? >> that's right. it's stated the 14th of december 2010.
it's sent from a mr. michel to mr. james murdoch, and your copied and. are you with me? >> yes im. >> this was the ofcom issues letter. is in its? >> you have got the chronology. i accept that, yes. >> you scan the page, three minutes later you replied to mr. michel, don't you? [inaudible] now, the reason why you're able to replace it quickly is because i think a dinner with mr. osborne the night before, hadn't you? >> that's correct. >> so you discuss the issues of the lead of the night before? >> i must have done so, yes. >> and the reference to gao is not including a special adviser. it's g. oh, personally, is in its? >> yes. >> why were you discussing this letter with mr. osborne at all? >> you are timing out the time of the issue of these letters
likes it that. my memory from the dinner was that it was with my husband and i, mr. osborne and his wife, mr. lewis and his wife. so it was the six of us. it was in a restaurant, more of a social occasion. but like i said in my witness statement, i probably brought it up but i can't remember, but they would have been part of the dinner i would have discussed our frustration perhaps with him at the time of what was going on. so i don't know whether i brought it up for church, but we did discuss at the dinner. not any great links because -- >> the part of the detail, was in an ofcom letter, you would agree with me? >> that would have been, i mean, that would have been my stance on it because i probably wasn't all over the complexities of an
ofcom issues letter. as chief executive news international. i mean, literally my main focus, my main involvement in the bskyb did -- the bskyb bid if you like, nothing to do with the transaction but generally in response to the huge amount of opposition and lobbying that was going on by the anti-sky of li life. >> was the dinner must have a compass, this was a discussion about the issues letter because the e-mail makes that clear, would you agree? >> i a tree with you. that's exactly what the e-mail says, but i don't remember a detailed conversation at a social dinner about the complexities of an issue such as ofcom. so it may have been precisely three minutes of me saying, can you believe that that has happened? and george osborne looking perplexed and the respond to fred michel the next day.
it was a very brief conversation but it did happen. >> it didn't happen but it's not mr. osborne looking slightly perplexed that he is totally baffled according to you. >> totally baffled in my conversation with them. >> the conversation must've been initiated by you, mrs. brooks. you usually don't hold back on occasions, do you? >> i just got number i brought it up or not, that's all. [inaudible] >> let's say i brought it up then. >> we don't want you to guess. >> i have been told to just spend i promise you, you're not been forced to guess. >> well, i can't remember who brought it up but am happy for arguments sake to accept that i did. but i'm not sure that's the case. >> do you think as an appropriate conversation with mr. osborne? >> i think, i think it was an entirely appropriate conversation.
i was reflecting the opposite view to the view that the asserted by that stage from pretty much every member of the anti-sky data lines on many occasions. so i think, for one, three-minute conversation beginning of dinner i got the opportunity to get our view. i don't see why that's inappropriate. >> you might be asked to assist us who initiated it? >> i'm accepting for the sake of argument that i brought it up. i just can't remember if that's absolutely. >> it's obvious from your one line e-mail that we know what mr. osborne's thinking is about more generally, don't we? >> well, i obviously remembered from the conversation, which i can exactly how long it took, but from the limited conversation that we had the night before that he was baffled at the response. as what i see. i'm agreeing with you on the e-mail. >> yes, but it's also obvious
that he was supportive of your bid, wasn't he? >> no. bafflement, or he was complexed at whatever, you're telling me with issues. i'm fine. he was baffled at the response speed hold on. paragraph 92 of your statement proceeds on that premise. >> the issues letter? >> yes. >> he was baffled at the response itself. i'm not sure what the question is, mr. jay. >> this stage of course, mrs. brooks, you knew everybody in the cabinet and his coalition stood in relation with the bid, did you? >> no, i didn't i particularly didn't know mr. cable's view, personal view. >> you do not any suspicion at all as to what his view was? >> no. in fact, i ask him to mr. cable
would carry out that responsibility as any minister would. properly without personal prejudice. >> by the time you had read the e-mail the first in the chain, if not before, you were well aware what mr. himes you was, the merits of the bskyb bid, don't you? >> i don't remember hearing that, hearing anything from mr. hunt directly on the bid, particularly. but i have a recollection that he put something on his worksite. i think came up in this inquiry. that he put something positive on his website, was in its? >> did you have conversations with mr. james and mr. rupert murdoch about how the bid was getting on and he wasn't supporting its?
>> i think, if my conversations with mr. james murdoch and mr. rupert murdoch about the bid were in essence probably discussing the latest move of the anti-sky alliance, sadr member having to call mr. james murdoch wendy anti-sky alliance commissioned a poll to the pr agency they hired, i believe weber shandwick. and they discover that 80% of people didn't want us to buy the rest of sky shares. so i would probably update because the anti-sky alliance of courses working in the uk territory. so there would be occasions when i would update rupert or james murdoch him and/or internal meetings that went on inside news international that occasionally i would attend, too. >> news corp, news international
regarded it important to lobby government generally in relation to the bid, aren't we agreed? >> i don't think that was the strategy. i think, i think it was a response. >> regardless of what originated it, it's what happened in the income isn't? >> certainly from what we've seen from fred michel's e-mail, there was a lot of lobbying went on from our site, yes. >> you could assist the murdochs to this extent that you knew the persons involved, at least as well as income and you could advise them in relation to mr. osborne, mr. cameron, mr. hunt, in a way -- [inaudible] isn't that what you brought to the table here? >> no, i don't think the. first of all, the strategy behind the bid was set by news corp, and i've nothing to do with that. and had again no formal role. and secondly this was a quasi-judicial decision, which
is nothing to do with personalities, the preferences of particular, of the prime minister or the chancellor of the exchequer in this case, or mr. hunt before he took over for dr. cable. >> you weren't so naïve, were you, to believe that quasi-judicial decision be carried out necessarily, you would naturally fear that it might intrude, you knew that, didn't you? >> no, actually. maybe it was naïve of me to think, you know, the procedure would be dealt with properly, but i did believe that. i had no reason not to until dr. cable's comments came out in the summer. >> okay. but we do have one e-mail, don't we, which you have, you have found. it's rem be two, you kindly disclose this to us.
yes, this e-mail, tap number for? >> it is under tab for. before we look at it, i think people would be interested to know how it is that this one e-mail have survived and others might not have done. can you assist its? >> welcome in the period, beginning june and july 17, when my blackberry was damaged, there were certain e-mails on their and some text messages, and for purposes of section 21 notice of this inquiry, my legal team went through all those, and inert to disclose anything that fell into the inquiry. and this was the only e-mail that i had in that period that was relevant to the bskyb questions i've been asked in my witness statement. >> would have to look at in this
order. page 02606 will will be the first page of this document. you can see at 1629 hours, on the 27th of june 2011, are you with me? >> im. >> frederick michel, send an e-mail. it goes to just do i think, although it's not altogether clear. is that your understanding? >> i would be surprised if it just came to me. as you saw from the previous enough, there always copied to the same group of people. but perhaps it was directly getting. >> the text of the e-mail is on the next page, which is zero to 607. hunt will be making references to phone hacking in a statement later this week. you would meeting -- [inaudible] this is his belief. phone hacking has nothing to do
with the media plurality issue. if something has gone wrong with -- >> that's corruption, i think. >> you are being told whilst the secretary of state is going to be saying in his rubicon statement, code-named, in a statement department. is that it's? >> yes. >> that speaks to its appeared on the issue of the privacy committee supports the widening, the future of the press and more newspaper groups of the regulatory regime that he wants to prevent the public inquiry. further the committee wanted to come up with a -- put enough pressure on the pcc to strengthen itself in terms of recommendations forward. was any of this news to you, mrs. brooks? >> yes, i think it was. >> was it a bit surprising to you?
>> i think, i think it was, it was news to me and, therefore, could be surprising, yes. >> the next paragraph, looking into phone hacking practices more thoroughly, and has asked me, the pronoun me is mr. michel, to advise him privately in the coming weeks and guide his and number 10 is positioning. do you know what i was about? >> well, i think, i think it speaks for itself. >> does that surprise you? >> well, at the time, the date of this e-mail, i think is -- >> the 27th of june. >> the 27th of june, and at the time of news international it was a particularly, i have a lot of my own concerns. we just handed over the lewis
file to mps because probably my focus more than anything else. i august have his e-mail and a million others. i read it at the time. and i responded i think to find it when the rubicon statement was. so i think the e-mail and my response speaks for themselves really. >> well, your response was 1720 hours, we have to go back to the previous page, when the rubicon statement, and answer came back, probably wednesday. can you assist us further from your memory as to mr. michel's feelings with mr. hunt at this time? >> probably not any further than the evidence that james murdoch gave really. i mean, fred michel worked for
news corp., and not news international so we didn't work for me. so my interactions with him were not as frequent. so i'm not sure i can add anything particularly. i know fred michel's own statement was that sometimes he overstated his case, for all i know this could be directly from jeremy hunt or as he said, number 10. so i just don't know. >> you say in paragraph 28 understatement, talking generally of your time as ceo of news international, that your time was previously occupied with the phone hacking issue. you members saying that? >> i do remember. >> content what am i going now? >> page 28 of your statement.
i'm concerned with the detail of your investigation, or your knowledge, mrs. brooks. were relations between murdoch, father and son, increasingly cold as this issue develop? >> i don't think is between father and son. i mean, the situation was false. >> you'd is described in one article, "vanity fair" this time, being the go between in an increasingly -- father-son relationship. is that you? >> "vanity fair" spent a lot of time covering the murdoch family dynamics. and they're just like any normal family. they'd have dynamics and to change. i wouldn't put any thing by "vanity fair" spent maybe one should. listen to the question. were you the go between in a
father and son relationship? >> no, they can speak to each other. >> i didn't hear that? >> no, they could be very happy to speak to each other. >> it was also just tested that james was passing blame onto his supporters but is that what was happening? >> no. >> he wasn't? >> what's the context of the "vanity fair" piece? >> you've seen the piece. it alleges that you are now under pressure to please a protect not only rupert but also james. bova taken the decision they have no idea what's going on inside the company, and a particularly james passing blame onto subordinates. is that's what was happening? >> no. >> so you can't shed any light on the truth or otherwise as to what can you are shedding light. >> it's saying that i was the go between between father and son
and increasingly fraught. the situation i think -- >> relationship. >> so what i'm saying to you is that i reported both to james and rupert murdoch, and i talked to them both about the issues unfolding at news international. james and i had offices next door to each other. i have been talking to mr. murdoch everyday. so if "vanity fair" wants to characterize that as a go between, then fine, but i don't accept the premise of what they are insinuating. and secondly, the "vanity fair" piece, whenever it came out, anything that james tried to start to pass the blame onto subordinates and i'm not sure, if that "vanity fair" piece, is referring to james murdoch's testimony at the select committee or his testimony here. i just don't even know when the "vanity fair" piece ran. so it's difficult for me to answer the question without some
context. >> can ask about -- can i ask about the police and your meetings about senior police officers? >> yes. >> rmb one again. the schedule you prepared. the back of it, i think. you kindly provided a schedule of meetings with senior officers with the metropolitan police. >> yes. >> the second page of that, it appears that you did not engage with john gates, assistant commissioner, after december 2006. is that to the best of your recollection correct a? >> i -- i -- i don't think that's correct. i think i did meet him.
but i, i me, we hoped, we hoped to show we hosted the police break the awards every year for start and i was always in attendance, and so, i'm sure that he would've been there. so i just, i really do not think the diary entries are a full picture. >> is likely to be a difference between a large function where you might bump into people, any conversation might be smashed, and dinner a wrestler, maybe only a few of you, conversation might be -- >> no, i did, i do remember having a meeting with john yates, a lunch, aroundi think about the time that cash for honor. >> we are back in 2005? >> right. again, this diary may be corrected in. i didn't see much of john yates
spent are you able to say whether that you discuss phone hacking issues within? >> because i don't remember one meeting, i'm pretty sure though i attended the police bravery a ward right up until to if you can imagine, until 2011. and he was, he was always there. and the kerry member when "the guardian," "the guardian" broke the story in july 2009, and it was a police bravery award, it is usually in july. so i don't want to absolutely rule out the fact that i may have mentioned it to him because he was often around, but i don't remember, sit down conversation where we discussed it at any light. >> so you're admitting of the possibility that -- >> i'm saying that it might quite probably have happened if the sequences of events, if my
memory serves me well, and those are the sequence of events that "the guardian" story broke out in july 2009, but i can't member what date, and the police bravery awards were afterwards but it could've been the other way around. >> "the guardian" story was the fifth or six, wasn't it? the eighth. the meetings with mr. -- more frequent. what with the purpose of those meetings in your own words that? >> what they would often be attended come usually he would accompany a commissioner, on a particular senior officer, or if he came in on his own, it would be to discuss things with me and my crime editor and senior team, and it could be a variety of issues. there was also, although is an annual event, if you like, a well-oiled machine, it was always quite a lot of organizations for the police bravery awards.
the process continued for many months -- soda, started many months before, and he would've been involved, as i would. but mainly the issues of the day or introducing a new commission are coming along with an update for the commission. >> did you ever obtain information from him which forms the basis of a story in "the sun"? >> no. >> did he put you in contact with police officers who could provide the basis and to provide the basis of a storied? >> i think, i think most crime journalists would come in a, i was a crime journalist or a crime editor but i think the process was we would awfully bring him if we had a story, that we've got from our in sources that involved the metropolitan police. and he was in a position to steer us away from it or give us a comment if we got it right so
there was, there was a come if you like, exchange of information, but it can and will you put it sounded like he had come into me anything and give me stories. sadly, no. >> mr. wallis of course was an employee of news international into dashed and till 2009 but were you aware of his relationship to? >> no. on insofar as i never worked directly with mr. wallis. but when i took over his position as deputy editor of "the sun" in 1998, i think assume his responsibilities in only come if you like, the police bravery awards. so i was aware that he had started those in the previous year. >> okay. one general question about the nature, this has to be a very general question. in terms of, the nature, the
hospital you are offering, i'm talking about lunches, dinners, did you regard police officers the same way as politicians go so in other words, it was appropriate to take them to a restaurant of a steward and dust of a certain stature or difference? >> there were definite distinctions between the two. i think it would be fair to say that senior police officers were more inclined to want to go to a neutral venue like a restaurant, whereas a lot of meetings with politicians took place either in hq are at party conferences, or at downing street or various ministries. so that was in my experience.
>> the inquiry has very little interest in the police force going to understand, that's the summer 2010. but i should ask you this question, even though we don't care about it. was there any exchange as it were between the work experience of his son, which is also in 2007 an acquisition by you? >> absolute not. >> move on to a different issue now. spent are you moving away from police officers to? >> yes. >> there's a balancer as well, isn't there, -- a balance here as well, isn't there, on the one hand they need to keep an eye on the stories that are coming out, but on the other, a professional
distance. do you think there is a risk of there? >> well, i think, i think it's always up to individual conduct in these matters, and so i felt that the contact i had with police officers, and particularly commissioners and senior police officers, in that kind of context was always appropriate. i never saw any, any of my dealings with police. i never saw any inappropriate, either conversations or -- take place. so my experience of it was relatively good. and particularly at the police bravery a ward and we would come, "the sun" shows and that he would come in contact with police officers not just the metropolitan police but from all over the country. and i always thought they were
very useful for us for both sides, rather than inappropriate. but there is always a risk that that is not the case. >> mr. gordon brown cystic fibrosis story, i think he did have some involvement in that, didn't you? >> guess i didn't. >> the peace in "the sun" is under tab 29. it's part of the narrative, as it were. this is an article in 2006. i believe. "the sun" today exposes the allegation that we hacked into
gordon brown's family medical records is false and a snippet we discovered the four year old son fraser had cystic fibrosis months after his birth. we can reveal the source of our information was a shattered dad whose own son also had a crippling disease and he wanted to highlight it by suffrage. is that to? >> yes. i think mr. jason 2006. the article came out in 2006, but this was written in 2011. >> yes, you're right. the article is november 2006. did you have any involvement in this article, although you are of course editor -- no longer edit a? >> no, i didn't i think i might have even left the company. >> i don't have the exact date. >> published 13th of july, 2011, according to what's on the screen now. >> no. sorry, i was still there.
>> do you know where the shattered dad, as referred to, got his information from? >> i think we do, yes. >> and where did he get his information from? >> he got it from the fact that he, his own child had cystic fibrosis, and he, he was given this information when information was sought about cystic fibrosis. i'm being very careful to try to not reveal his identity, that's all, hence the hesitation. but i think we sort of, we know what happened. >> that's all very vague, mrs. brooks. >> purposely so, i think when we wrote this article, i think, although like you say, i was
chief executive at the time. i remembered "the sun" absolutely putting this together to refute gordon brown's allegations, and we are incredibly clear on it. we had an affidavit from the father where he explains the stricken but i don't think that affidavit is publics so i'm just being slightly hesitant in not to reveal his identity. >> we are not concerned with his identity. that wasn't my question. the father's version is, and we can see this in the article, i have not had access to the medical records of any child, at any time. all of which is the truth, as i shall answer to god. apparently it was, his affidavit says, was its? >> i think it was longer than that but that would be part of it, yes. >> how did the father get the information?
>> well, if i can put that back to reassure you, we, at the time, and again in july 2012, were absolute be satisfied that the father had got the information from legitimate means, and we were very sure about that. [inaudible] >> he got the information because his own child had cystic fibrosis, and he got the information, should i say, through very small, not a small charity, but there is a chaired aspect to the cystic fibrosis society, and he got it slightly by involvement through that. >> what sort of involvement in? >> i'm not going to take it anymore about this was because i don't want to reveal his identity. >> you are not. >> but i feel, i feel uncomfortable answering that because i think it could lead to his identity.
you ask me where information came from, and the source, and i think they are matters that i have to respect as a source coming to the newspaper. the main point of this issue is mr. brown accused "the sun" attacking into his son's medical records to get the story. and that wasn't true. >> it wasn't accurate speakers no, sir. >> but that's quite important because it plays into something else that is concerning me, which i'm just going to dwell upon. if i have taken a question from mr. jay, just to bed. mr. brown was concerned that information which he thought was private had entered the public domain. and he felt that the way that that must have happened is that
"the sun" got hold of his records in some way. that's what he was saying, is that right? >> that's what he said in july 2011. >> yes. now, you knew that, go back one step. first of all, if you don't know anything of how you got the story, it's not unreasonable, is it, to believe that if private details of your child's condition being put into public domain, they could only have come from medical records. because diagnosis, medical detail. so it's not an unreasonable view to form? >> he formed to that view, or he came to that assumption in 2011, and in 2006, in november 2006, way before "the sun" published the story, we discussed the story directly with the browns,
before publication. and the first time i heard that he had a concern of that nature was when he gave an interview to the bbc in 2011. so it wasn't something that he felt at the time. >> it may be until into the public domain, i'm not, i'm not actually focusing so much on that point, outcome to the point i want to make. you didn't explain to him, because you want to protect your source, no, no, no. we got all this from somebody whose son also has the condition as his own child's condition. you just didn't discuss the source is that right? >> that is right spent my question is, would you look at the first line of "the sun" article? "the sun" today exposes the allegation we hacked into gordon
brown's medical family as false and a sneer. and my concern is whether it's fair to describe that as may be incorrect, but as false and a smear. >> in the general point that i can absolutely see what you are saying there is correct. but this was not, this was a particularly journey that "the sun" had been involved in since the beginning of the information coming into "the sun" israel, and what happened after that, and subsequent to that. >> but if you never knew how you got it, all you could say, your title said, he's just got it wrong. >> he came to the wrong assumption in 2011. >> that's absolutely fair. so the issue is whether it's
part of the culture of the press that actually attacked us the best form of defense. so that people don't just get it wrong, it's false in capitals, and a smear. you see the point i am making? >> i do see the point you are making, but, so the context is, that article was written after gordon brown had, first of all, i think his first appearance in parliament since he stepped down as prime minister, was to come to, was to come to the house and speak incredibly and critically, and in some cases made wrong assumptions through his testimony to the house. and then the second thing he did, he then went on, i think bbc, i can't remove or, to do an interview with another wrong
assumption, that "the sun" had got the story from fraser brown's medical record. and i think, combining the two, if you like, attacks from mr. brown, this has never ever been raised by him in any shape or form with any of us at news internationals, or mr. murdoch. he never once mentioned press ethics or practices in our entire relationship, that "the sun" felt that it was a smear, that he was doing it for years later, sorry, five years later, for a particular respect and i think that's why they wrote the story that they did. now, i was chief executive at the time. i didn't write the story, but i'm defending their right to write a story like that. >> well, i -- already give provided, actually which have demonstrated is that "the sun"
believed, and may be right or wrong, i don't know, that mr. brown's add two and two and two and got 27. what has, in fact, if he took each one of the instances on their own, it may have, he may have been made a mistake, he may be wrong to reach the conclusion. that's all fair enough, entirely proper, but it goes a bit further than that. >> i accept that, that this story does, but if you imagine for "the sun," "the sun," and i know i keep mentioning this, but "the sun" has a trust with its readership, and it's a very important trust, and if that trust is broken, then, and a former prime minister had claimed i think partially -- harshly, he comes to the misperception we got it from the medical records.
whoever broke the story, "the guardian" probably, that that was false. and there was a correction, subsequently published in "the guardian," and i think "the sun" felt on that that they had to stand up. because it is a terrible accusation for a former prime minister to make of a newspaper without being in possession of the facts. that we have hacked into his medical record. and i think that's why you're seeing a strong tone of the rebuttal in the paper. >> well, thank you. >> you are refuting "the sun" with a virtue, mrs. brooks. let me, how far i can get with it. where did this information come from? >> i'm not going to say, mr. jay. >> why not, mrs. brooke's? >> because, because if you knew where the father's information came from it would identify the source and i'm not going to do that. >> are you saying that the
information came from a charity? >> no, i'm not that i'm saying that because the source also had a child with cystic fibrosis, he was aware and in, it was, it was the fact every child with cystic fibrosis, is how he came to know. >> that would, that would indicate that the father might at some point have been quite close to the browns, perhaps any particular hospital. [inaudible] do you understand the? >> i understand your point. >> did he gain the information by substitution? >> no, he didn't. >> tdk and information directly from the browns? >> no, he didn't. >> didd gained information froma third party? >> i suppose you could describe it as that? >> was the third party an employee of the nhs? >> no, what wasn't. >> well, did a third party have
a duty of confidence to hold the information? leches go as simple as that. >> no, i don't think so. i'm sorry. without repeating the source, "the sun" was satisfied that the information came from legitimate means. and i felt that that covered all those questions. >> was the father paid for his time to? >> i think it was a donation may be, but i can't be sure. >> to a charity in? >> i think he asked for it to be given to the cystic fibrosis charity, which is featured i have in my head. but we can check with "the sun." >> how come the inquiry said whether not the fathers -- site duty of confidence without knowing the identity of the source, but the nature of the duties, that source was discharging? >> sure you can assist to that extent. ..
did you have an agreement great -- freely given to publish this story in "the sun"? >> absolutely. >> they were entirely relaxed about this personal information related to a 4-year-old boy. entirely satisfied that this could be placed on the front page of "the sun" in november of 2006? that your position? >> you used the word relax.
you have to consider how traumatic clearly for any parent this was. >> what was? >> the diagnosis. >> what about including it on the front page of "the sun"? is that helping or not? >> that background -- >> enter my question. obviously the tragedy and pain of the diagnosis but on the front page of "the sun" is not helping this? >> if the browns half me not to run it i wouldn't have. there are many examples of tragic situations in people's lives when people have asked me not to run a story and i haven't and i wouldn't have done. not only they gave me permission to run it, it is the only way we would have done it.
>> the browns's statement -- >> a you can see we lost our signal from london. the hearings of the leveson committee which took place yesterday and today in london british prime minister david cameron had appointed lord justice leveson to oversee the committee examining the relationship between the press and celebrities. they have been hearing from former chief executive and news international -- news international's rebekah brooks. we have been showing you heard testimony sins 5:00 a.m. eastern this morning. [silence]
we have been bringing you the hearing of the leveson committee. we have technical difficulty with our signal and hoped to reestablish that. we covered a couple hearing from earlier today and previous weeks as well and you will find many of those in our video library at c-span.org. more live coverage coming up later on the c-span network including a discussion at noon today on c-span about lessons learned from the japanese earthquake and later today here on c-span2 we have president obama speaking in reno, nevada at 3:10 eastern.
[silence] >> as we work to reestablish our signal to london we will bring you part of the proceedings from yesterday. the committee from andy coulson who served as communications director for british prime minister cameron from 2010-2011. prior to that he was an editor for "news of the world" in 2003 to 2007. he discussed relationships with number of politicians including george osborn and david cameron. we will show you what we can and give we are able to reestablish our signal from the uk we will bring you that live on c-span2. >> thank you.
[inaudible conversations] >> your full name. >> andy coulson. >> please turn off your witness statement dated the first of may of this year. look at the last paragraph you will see a signature which is yours. a statement of truth given within the constraints imposed on you by the ongoing police investigation. is that right? >> yes. >> a short time line of your career. you started working as a journalist in 1989. is that correct? >> yes. >> between 1994-1998 you educated the bazaar column of "the sun". in the year 2000 you were deputy
editor of "news of the world" under rebekah brooks. january of 2003 you were appointed editor of "news of the world". 26 of january 2007 you resigned. around june of 2007 we come to the exact date where you were appointed director of communication to the conservative party. is that right? >> yes. >> you started work on the ninth of july 2007 and after the last general election on the twelfth of may 2010 you were appointed director of communication at downing street. >> yes. >> you resigned as director of communications on the 26 of january 2011. i ask you this general question
first of all mr. coulson. there are reports that you have been keeping the personal diary -- contemporary development between july of 2007 and january of 2011. is that correct? >> no. >> in terms of how your witness statement has been prepared you had to rely on your memory. are there any documents you had access to that might have assisted? >> there are some notes i would take in the course of my work. >> these are manuscripts or computer records? >> records. >> have you had access to those notebooks? >> yes. >> you have been arrested in
connection operation elkins. i will ask questions on those matters. now some background questions. it is clear from your statement that you were perhaps and still are close friends of rebekah brooks. is that right? >> yes. we haven't spoken for a while obviously. >> i ask you about the frequency of your interaction particularly after july of 2007. how often do you speak to her? >> it would depend. rescheduled the sort of meetings we had that we would talk now and then. i wouldn't say even if we spoke every week there were times we didn't speak. we spoke over that period of time regularly is the word i would use. >> did you communicate by text message with her? by e-mail? >> occasionally. >> obviously --
>> yes. >> would it be fair to say you knew what each other's perspective political standpoint work? >> she was a conservative. that was pretty clear. as to her political allegiances in terms of her period of editorship of "the sun" she supported the labor party. and also she was chief executive when "the sun" changed its allegiance to the conservative party. as to her personal beliefs, how she voted i have no idea. >> do you have any insight into her personal political beliefs? >> beyond the odd conversation we had. the question might be so bold how did she vote, i have no idea. >> was she someone you felt was
close to certain politicians? >> yes. i think through the course of her work she was close to politicians. >> we will come to that in a moment. when you took over as editor of "news of the world" in 2003, what was the culture, did you want to change? >> i don't remember wanting to change any of the cultural aspects. main change i instigated on becoming editor was a cosmetic one. i wanted to redesign. >> you worked at both papers. "the sun" and "news of the world". any differences in the culture of the two papers in your view? >> in so much as one is a daily paper so the pace of the paper is very different. the atmosphere is different on certain days of the week. if you try to find a comparison between "news of the world" if you like, and the mood of "the sun" it is on a saturday because that is the day -- >> part of the testimony
yesterday from andy coulson before the leveson committee. we will show all of that later in our program schedule and it is also in the c-span video library. now we take you live to london where rebekah brooks, former chief executive of "news of the world" is testifying. back to live coverage on c-span2. >> did you have a conversation to talk about this specifically? >> can't remember when my call was. i think was after -- she ended "news of the world" firing her. >> on the first of december of 2008 two weeks beforehand the week commencing the seventeenth of november did you have a conversation about sharon? >> was discussed. >> would have been or was discussed? >> it was. >> the purpose of the court to discuss sharon?
>> wasn't. was to discuss the case and also to try to understand why social services were allowed to do their own review and their own conduct. >> in the course of the discussion you had in relation to sharon smith did you indicate you wanted her back? >> i didn't tell the board to try -- i was very obvious in the coverage in our paper that we launched a petition because the government were refusing to do anything about the situation. i had conversations with the board. i also -- the shadow minister was michael gerber at the time but i can't remember that. i would have spoken to anybody basically to try to get some justice appointed to the campaign. >> the justice in this way, the person who could make their own
decision. >> obviously had influence on that decision but the paper was the main form. >> he was the decisionmaker who could affect by direct instruction. >> just picking up the premise of your question is did i tell -- in fact in the newspaper from the day we broke -- that they be covered the baby story it was very clear that that was the same editorial lines of mr board was under no illusion that that was the point of our campaign. >> he was also under no illusion. that with the point of your telephone call as well. >> the telephone call was in
part the petition and also wanted to deliver the petition to downing street because nothing was moving on the campaign and we ourselves at "the sun" were very surprised. 1.5 million as a percentage of readership is a huge reaction. it would not just be -- i don't think it was a point of reference because the editor of "the sun" had to read the paper. >> you were frustrated by his apparent inaction and had a mass of signatories on the petition, all the more reason to bend mr. colbert? >> the premise of your question is that the ring got mr. bohr's -- it was in line with i wouldn't use. but you said that i say get rid of her or else or whatever you said? i did not say that. the point of the campaign was
obvious that he only had to read the paper essentially asking mr. bours for subtle information like the contents of the reviews we were not allowed to see and the white wash i felt council had done in their own review. >> we had better get the short end. [silence] >> it looks like the leveson committee is taking a short break of what we think will be five minute. we will resume live coverage on c-span2. in the meantime we take you back to the testimony yesterday of andy coulson who served for "news of the world" as editor
from 2003 to 2007. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> your full name mr. coulson? >> andrew edward coulson. >> your witness statement dated the first of may of this year and a look at the last paragraph and underneath you see a signature which is yours and a statement of truth. the statement of truth is given within the restraints by the ongoing investigation and document. is that right? >> yes. >> first of all, a short time line of your career. you started working as a journalist in 1989. is that correct?
>> yes. >> 1994-1998 you edited the bismarck column at "the sun". >> yes. >> in 2000, you were deputy editor of "news of the world" and rebekah brooks. is that correct? january of 2003 you were appointed editor of "news of the world". 26 of january 2007 he resigned. around june of 2007. we come to the exact date when you give your evidence. you were appointed director of communications to the conservative party. is that right? >> yes. >> you started work on the ninth of july of 2007 and after the last general election on the twelfth of may 2010 you were appointed director of communications at downing street. is that correct? >> yes.
>> you resigned as director of communications on the 26 of january 2011. i ask you this general question first of all, mr. coulson. there are reports that you have been keeping a personal diary, a contemporary record of relevant events between july of 2007 and january of 2011. is that correct? >> no. >> so in terms of how your witness statement is being prepared you have had to rely on your memory self-evident we. any other document you had access to that might have assisted? >> there are some notes that i take in the course of my work but from opposition. >> these are manuscript or computer records? >> they are no books. >> have you have access to those
notebooks? >> yes. >> you had been arrested in connection with operation helga. i will be asking questions on those matters. i will ask some background questions. it is clear from your statement that you were perhaps still are close friends of rebekah brooks. is that right? >> yes. we haven't spoken for awhile for obvious reasons. >> i ask you about the frequency of your interaction particularly after july of 2007. how often do you speak to her? >> it would depend. our scheduled meetings that we had the personal social meetings we had, we would talk between now and then. even though we spoke every week there were times we didn't speak for quite some time. i would say we spoke over that
period of time regularly. that is the word i would use. >> did you communicate by text message with her? >> occasionally. >> by e-mail? >> occasionally. >> and by mobile phone. is that right? >> yes. >> would you be prepared to say you know what each other's respective political standpoints work? >> she knew i was the conservative. that was pretty clear. has to her political allegiances in terms of her period of editorship of "the sun" she was supportive of the labor party. and also she was chief executive when "the sun" change to the legions to the conservative party. as to her personal views, personal belief i have no idea. >> do you have any insight into her personal political beliefs or not? >> not beyond the odd conversation that we had. i guess the question might be so
bold leader and how did she vote, i have no idea. >> was she's someone who you felt was close to certain politicians? >> yes. through the course of her work she was close to politicians. >> i will come to that in a moment. when you took over as editor of "news of the world" in 2003, which aspect of the culture, what did you want to change? >> the main change was cosmetic. wanted to redesign -- >> you worked at both papers, "the sun" and "news of the world". any differences in culture of those two papers or not in your view? >> in so much is one of the daily paper so the pace of the paper is very different. the atmosphere is different on certain days of the week.
if you try to find a comparison between "news of the world" smooth and the mood of "the sun" it is on a saturday because that is the day you are producing the newspaper. >> your dealings with rupert murdoch has editor. we're looking at the period 2003-2007. about how often would you see that do you think? >> i can't put a number on it but he would usually call on a saturday night and sometimes might be a couple times in the month. sometimes you go couple months without hearing from him. i would describe that as sir regular. and almost always -- i think always saturday night phone call. aside from the occasional international meetings when he was in london war when i would go to new york with the other editors for the budget
discussions. >> the content of the paper. what in particular? >> in terms of the specific content i don't remember any conversations about a particular part of the paper. we did talk about sports pages. the company made a big investment in expanding the size of the sports page, sports coverage in "news of the world" and that was a fundamentally important part of the commercial mix of the paper. i am sure we discussed that and we discussed politics and he would give me his view on the news of the time. >> we know rupert murdoch was interested in football. trying to unite methods to succeed. whether he stood in things like front pages? >> in those conversations i might tell him if we had a good
story when we were planning to run that night but not always by any measure. >> wasn't he interested in stories which might impact on the collateral success and circulation figures of the newspaper? >> it is a good example. in terms of driving the "news of the world," the sport was crucial and also had massive impact on the sort of physical production of the paper. so i remember having that conversation. news international invested in expensive dresses in my time as editor and i have real concerns that those presses most successful in some regards would impact on the production of the paper particularly sports coverage. you wouldn't get the right team's coverage into the right area. i remember discussing that. >> bringing the conversation
around to neutral topics such as sports. did he ask questions directly about circulation figures? >> he might well have. >> during the sporadic angels from new york on a saturday did he tend to ask how circulation is going? >> part of yesterday's testimony before the leveson committee. they have gavel back in and we go back to london on c-span2. >> to conclude your evidence, six pieces of your statements. your credo on accountability. do you see that? you have seen firsthand. the importance of pulling politicians now the public figures arts in account and
policies for the public good? would you agree that editors subject only to review have so -- sold discretion what constitutes public good? >> no i don't. they do have some discussion as we discussed earlier. it is a combination of reacting to readers, understanding the readers but also putting issues in front of the readers for their reaction. so not so responsibility. the team of each paper which contribute to conference for ideas, so responsibility. >> in terms of assessing the public good, that reside with the newspaper and the response to the early resides with the editor. are we agreed?
>> yes. >> i think i was right in saying that in terms of this particular subject, by the review by the pc see the responsibility is with the editor. >> i don't think for responsibility. >> over the responsibility because you look to everybody else for advice and everybody looks towards you and you decide what we're going to do. >> ultimately everything is published in the paper is their responsibility. >> do you feel that that is a satisfactory statement given that the editor is bound to be party free in assessing of a public good, the editor needs to have an eye on such and such circulation period? >> that is the role of an editor. an editor's judgment is part of -- a big part of their role. >> holding public figures to
account would include exposing the private weaknesses of public figures. is that right? >> i would defer that more to campaigns which i discussed the lot in my witness statement. >> i am not discussing that. i'm discussing the issue of exposing private weaknesses of public figures. you regard that as completely within the bounds of the public good? >> not necessarily. >> when would you not expose the weakness of public figures? >> when there didn't seem to be public interest in doing so. >> when would such circumstances arise? >> there are many stories newspapers have been run about personal circumstances of public figures. >> what sort of circumstances would mitigate against giving us
details of individual stories which weren't published? >> if perhaps no trust broken between them and their constituents. in fact you discussed yesterday all those that story was published. maybe george argued that before he became an m p, the judgment is their own. >> goes back to the point of an editorial discretion at the end of the day. >> hy just wanted to convey -- thei just wanted to convey -- the workings of the newsroom. >> one particular campaign because some would say their arguments are both ways. naturally i have ideas expressed
and there's always a risk with campaigns although there were some issues with the campaign, i think the mechanic in a way to try to explain to the public what was going into the campaign was effective, and i think there was off 13 or 14 pieces of legislation brought in subsequently on the back of it to read >> why did you need to publish the names and photographs of the known sex offenders in order to bring home what was otherwise a legitimate point? >> because was the point about information. when sarah payment missing i was surprised the police came around the inquiry were pretty sure who they thought the perpetrator might be because he was a
convicted pedophile living in the community who had just been released having conducted under eight year old girl and in almost didn't call circumstances and it was news to me that convicted in the serious nature were allowed to live unchecked in the community and parents didn't have any information on that, and when i checked back in america after the murder of mcginn in 1994, president clinton had brought in meagan's law which had been working very well and that is why the mechanic is right. >> i can understand the argument to this extent, the degree the criminal law might need to be strengthened. why is it necessary in that legitimate campaign to publish the names and photographs of the known sex offenders? >> because in 2000 when we did it -- and i fink was over a period of just two weeks -- it
was a way of highlighting the central issue of the campaign to try to explain to the readers the gap between what they felt was the situation and what was the situation. >> why couldn't you just explain it to the readers in clear and simple language? why sensationalize it and create the obvious risk of reprisals? >> welcome actually before we did it, having the meagan's law there was very limited -- there is very little vigilante is some. i wasn't protecting those reprisals, and i felt it was the best way to highlight the central point of the campaign. >> were there any reprisals? >> there were the to the were written about. estimate does that include the pediatrician?
>> it does, yes. >> fun natural foreseeable consequence of the sensationalist campaign, wouldn't you agree, ms. brooks? >> no, i think -- i don't think anyone could have predicted a pediatrician situation. and secondly, i think on the growth at stake i think the residents were quite shocked to discover there had been living there unchecked when i'm going to offend again. so, although, again i didn't predict the outcome. >> it's been a recurring theme in the questioning of the course of the day but your proposition, which might seem obvious as the common sense and you reject this each time i'm going to try again with this one is it not evidently inflammatory to publish in the news of the world
the names and photographs of the known sex offenders foreseeable consequence there might be physical violence? >> if you publish it on the basis you knew that would happen, yes. but it was not the intention. the incidence i can explain as i've tried to. the fact is that it was a very serious, very serious loophole that needed coming into was a bold. some people disagree with it, some people agreed with in terms of press, but monday 8% for the british public continued to agree with the campaign probably up until this day. >> might not have been your motive, mrs. brooks but there's a natural and probable consequence of your actions, wasn't it? if it wasn't, mrs. brooks, it would be banished from your mind i would suggest to you protecting the obvious to anyone else and what ought to have been
obvious to an editor exercising your position role in power would you not agree? >> i wouldn't agree because i did not predict a there was going to be a riot, and i didn't predict that somebody, members of the public would mistake a pedophile for a pediatrician. i don't think anybody could have predicted that. >> there are many things in the sequence of events the would lead to an outcome, you can certainly predict the outcome in general terms, and what i am suggesting to you is this sort of come would you not agree to? >> you have the benefit of hindsight which i didn't have at the time. i was constructing a very bold campaign in order to change the sex offenders act of 1997. >> not just a bold, but sensationalized, designed to
inflame and designed to improve standing the view and the news of the world to the objectives in mind is that not true? >> you seem to have taken the opinion of the guardian has i think the time. i disagree, it is not my opinion and i am not going to agree with you. >> let me make it clear that i have absolutely no concern about the policy objectives of the campaign of news of the world or anybody else which is to run. that's what freedom in our society means. the only question i might ask following up on mr. jay's question is if you have
appreciated that the public might react in a way in which it did in these two incidents, do you think you would have rethought whether that aspect of the campaign should be run? >> i do have some regrets about the campaign, particularly the list of convicted pedophiles that we put into the paper because i felt that we have made some mistakes by just going on an appearance of the sex offenders act which wasn't necessarily the right criteria. however, i still felt that the mechanic that we used was the right thing to do. >> 99 in your statement.
when you referred to the wider point, do you remember that? >> what paragraph? >> paragraph 99. you've moved of the issue of and then you are moving on to the wider point. >> yes. >> you say on the second line it's one thing to be a passionate advocate of free press, but if you seek to defend an inaccurate free press, you lose the moral high ground. are you intending to to say that there are some aspects of the free press which might give rise to criticism because the free press can be inaccurate?
>> cut and need to discuss this in the first module of the inquiry that when the newspaper gets it wrong one of the biggest complaints i used to get not necessarily about leona newspaper but about the press in general was the prominence of apologies when an and accuracy had taken place and that is what i am referring to. page 37 paragraph type of thing >> in some respects, and this is perhaps an ironical response to your evidence. in the course of the day i put to you stories which are said to be reliably sourced whether they are in the times or "vanity fair" or elsewhere, and three often you have said it's untrue. but that in a funny sort of way is the sort of debate we have been having in this inquiry.
the evidence this is so often sources don't stand up based on myths or half truths or the garble of the truth. do you see the irony? >> yes, i do. >> what do you think the reason for that is? >> well, mr. jay, to me you have put quite a few should we say gossip items for want of a better word. >> the same sort of stuff in the news of the world and continues. >> we are not in a tabloid newsroom are we. you put quite a few gossip, my out of me, my -- rupert murdoch and i swim, where did i get the horse from, did mr. murdoch by me s suit, the list is endless
and i've had to refuel a lot of those allegations because allegations is overstating because it is so wrong, but i do feel that that is merely a systematic issue that i think a lot of it is gender based and my relationship with mr. murdoch if i was a grumpy old man of the street no one would write the first thing about it, but perhaps otherwise i guess a lot of this criticism is gossip. but i wasn't complaining and i wasn't making it the typist hypocrisy that last paragraph to mean that. all i was saying was in my experience as a journalist it's one of the biggest complaints leggitt where people say the apology never matches the and accuracy. >> the systematic issue may not relate to you all the lenders and naturally you would have particular concerns in relation to yourself. the systematic has regarded inaccuracies may be in the
connection of the commercial press on the sources which do not always stand out and tend to rely on stories that really true but don't happen to be true, and finally, the story itself being more important. so the microcosm today we have seen demonstrations, the sort of phenomenon which is occupied the life of the press for decades in this country. is that fair or not? >> i don't think it's fair and i don't think any journalist in the room would agree with that final summing up of the statement where you say the story is more important than the truth. >> are there other aspects of the press which you are looking at in paragraph 99 such as
intrusion or these issues which he would even prefer not to address or don't think are particularly important? >> of course i think they are important. i'm happy to discuss them, but just for the purposes of this module which is meant to be about the discussion of the appropriate relationship between present politicians and i haven't got anything in my witness and. >> fair enough. ha >> i understand that. but one couldn't have listened for the day and indeed have read the material, that has been published and written about you without wondering a little bit
about the extent to which the press have intruded rather be on in your public position into your private life, and i wonder whether you have a comment speaking with all the experience you have in news of the world. and to the extent to which the press does now we get further and further into the issues of privacy as i said to mr. jay, it would be i think the height of hypocrisy to a list to complete. however, i have had those complaints from people in my career of journalism and i've
always tried to understand and always try to use my judgment to where that line fell. s to my own situation, well, you know, it's been a difficult year, but a lot of the questions of life had for mr. jay, wife of concentrated on it trivialized i was happy to discuss them, but i'm not sure that it helped to inquire whether mr. murdoch bought me a suit or not or i went swimming with him. >> what might help is the nature of the relationship and the influence that it generates. but i just -- i wasn't asking you to complain because you said in terms it would be hypocritical of you to do so in the past experience. but because i am trying to find a way through the various
modules including the political one, i wanted to give you the opportunity to say anything you want it to say on the subject. >> i think on the politicians and i do think much has been made of the relationships and the formal contact scum and -- contacts, and i believe if journalists meet politicians, they are going to be incredibly hard to be the journalists to be transparent and of that or are thought to be transparent because often they are exactly the way they get information. so if you see someone for a drink and then have to print your schedule the next day that is quite difficult. on the other hand, i understand from this government that they have improved their transparency from that part. and so, i suppose it was to urge
you that there really shouldn't be if everyone's individual contact is correct i would never compromise my position as a journalist by having a friendly relations with a politician. and i've never known a politician to compromise their position, particularly with their friendships with me or with another executive. and so i'm not saying the system is perfect. it's far from it, but i feel an understanding in the current law might be a start before we present any more restrictions. >> in relation to the politicians i don't know that it is a question of the law. >> i'm talking of the ministerial code which is changing all the time. it changed in july think of last year. >> you said before lunch when i asked you can you understand why it might be a matter of public concern the very close relation to journalism and politician might create on the press in the
policy decisions you agreed that you could understand that. >> i could understand the point very clearly because i think in every walk of life and every kind of relationship you have, there are subtle pressures. i think that is human nature. and it is up to the individual conduct and how you respond to those pressures. so i accept what you are saying as a fact. but i do think that those politicians need to make sure that they have their professional lives in front of everything else so they don't compromise. the big point about the prime minister is if the prime minister ever had put a different ship or a relationship or coziness in the group to the electorate than the would be a terrible feeling. >> but it might be they are convinced that it's consistent with their duties of the
electorate. in other words, the nature of the relationship is such that they become honestly and completely convinced because of the respect they hold to the people they are dealing with who may be their friends, and therefore they are not doing something paragraph are not doing anything that is in proper, but they are slightly perhaps less guarded with politicians, which people of the press, particularly those who may be their friends come and they will be when they know there's a lot of people coming in the example i gave to the school yesterday was from the coal industry and then there's the lobbying industry from greenpeace to talk about, and
that's a part of our process that a different interest groups get the opportunity to make that point. but i don't suppose many get the opportunity to make as many points as to the senior journalists get to make, and they don't have quite the same ability to provide it for use the word something in return i don't want you to misunderstand me. i'm not saying there is a bargain to necessarily, but i think it has been said in the report rather more subtle than that, it's just a recognition that's actually if her to people, journalists on the one hand and a politician on the other are on the same page and therefore support each other they might generally support
each other, not in properly, not because they have made a deal, not because they have been given cash or anything like that, but because people can be persuaded. that may be fair enough. but the question is how long can they ensure there's sufficient openness and transparency about that so that everybody is satisfied in this day of the mass media communications that all decisions are being made openly and transparently without influence that people know about. that's my point. >> that's correct in terms of business and commercial interest, which is i think where the coal manufacturing comes in. all i was saying, not disagreeing with that point, from the journalists perspective, you are not trying
to get to see it published in for your own personal or even your company's commercial interest. you are trying to gather information. to put at its lowest, you are trying to get a good story. >> you might be doing it for your commercial considerations. we've talked enough about them on the antiascribing it to doesn't really matter which one that's where it gets fuzzy doesn't it? >> i have never known anything like the alliance in life never heard of any media group in the country in the british telecom and the bbc getting together against noncommercial it. >> we could take the example of the meeting in a 19 -- i've got
to get the year right. >> the meeting between rupert to -- ruppersberger murdoch i'm not reaching any conclusion of any of it but it is another example of the alliance not merely of the ability to lobby but the ability to use the press interest. >> well we didn't actually. >> whether you did or you didn't isn't my point as you understand so it's the question of ensuring the public that this pressure
does not get out of hand. >> that's correct the ordinary that make the newspaper powerful and if i can just give you one example where the daily mirror ran a very good campaign in that time with the leadership at the beginning in the war in iraq and some being pro-military always kept it very supported backing troops on the ground and once the war started coming to america continued the campaign and they say why the readers are wrong and i think it is from pierce morgan's book from this inquiry he talks about how the circulation of the mirror plummeted, he continued to
control the line, the editorial line in the paper that was against the leadership and they reacted pretty swiftly and i know that is an extreme example in these kind of pressures. >> that's why we spoke earlier about its responsiveness or leadership in a little bit of both. >> absolutely both. many people question and i completely understand that it was controversial. the fact is i put a piece of information in front of the readers that i found astonishing when i heard it is to systems that conform to pedophiles could live in the community unchecked and then was something i just didn't know and i presented it to the readers in the way that i
did so was the situation of me putting something in front of them. however, i did know that they were incredibly moved by what happened to the pain family from their reactions early on, so i knew they would be responsive to its. >> it doesn't make it very difficult. >> all right. that wraps up this week's hearing of the committee which took place yesterday and today
in london. british prime minister david cameron appointed lord justice leveson to oversee the committee examining the relationship between the press and celebrities, politicians and the police, and you can see all of this week's testimony and prior hearings of the committee on our website in our video library at c-span.org. we will let you know about live coverage coming up later today on c-span2. president obama is in reno nv visiting homeowners and talking about federal mortgage relief. we will have live coverage of the president's comment coming up at 3:ten eastern. we are going to take you back to the testimony of today by rebekah brooks to begin the testimony this morning at 5 a.m. eastern and we will show you as much as we can until the president this afternoon at 3: 3:10. >> the witness today is rebekah brooks. >> thank you.
>> i swear the evidence i give shall be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. estimate your full name please. >> rebekah brooks. stickney i ask you please to look at the large bar in front of you and identify the statement provided to the 14th of october of last year and second fleet in the second of may this year. the principal focus today will be on the second statement. are you content to confirm the truth of those statements? >> the timeline of your career,
mrs. ms. brooks you joined news international and news of the world in 1989, is that right? >> that's right. the 1995 you for the deputy editor of news of the world and 1999 appointed and in may of 2000 editor of news of the world page 41, is that right? >> yes. >> in january i think 2003 the ceo of news international can we be clear of the dates there's some doubt about it with the announcement in the appointment of june 2009 which you took up on the second of september, 2009. >> that's correct. >> fin hewey resigned on the 17th of july, 2011.
>> the 15th. >> so we are completely clear about the constraints bearing on your evidence, you are under police investigation the context in operations that we see operations allegedly is inaccurate. >> mrs. brooks i'm grateful for the obvious care put into the statements you've made and i am conscious of the time. the other constraints may relate to documents including the text from their absence and if you look at paragraph 30 of the statement which is on page 02577 you make it clear that you have had reference to a diary which is kept by your former p.a. and
can we be clear what sort of diary is talking about? is it an ordinary desk diary or and alistair campbell type of diaries? >> definitely not an hour mr. campbell type. it's my old p.a. desk diary, so the appointments are not the complete picture and it's difficult to know what some of the meetings took place. i've done my best to give you a schedule but it's more of a flavor than a precise tyree. >> the schedule appointments that isn't clear of what was discussed on any particular case is that fair? paragraph 31, mrs. brooks, you see since your department of news international youth had no access to your work e-mail. however, the e-mails and text that were on my blackberry at the time and i left news international were saved. so does it follow that your work e-mail account was brought to you in some way or something
destin happened? >> i think it was blocked on the data i left. estimate when you say that e-mails and text for image and save can you tell us approximately when those events occurred? >> am i blackberry was damaged by my team when it returned and it contains the e-mails and letters about a month of text we had to image and we had some problems with that. >> so approximately when the blackberry was returned by the p.a.? >> i think about three weeks later, maybe longer. >> can you give us a month, please? >> in july. >> 2011? >> so we have s zeroth display of e-mails and text which only commit to discover a limited period of june, 2011 so you say
the 17th of july the 15th of july. >> i think it was the 17th. >> you also confirm that there is nothing read it in this increase in the private accounts which you are referring to private e-mail accounts is that right? >> that's correct. >> does it follow any e-mail you might have had with politicians to your account? >> that's correct. >> and then you text the contract politicians without even being on your block very. there is no other mobile phone. >> okay. we've been asked to put through this question with your any e-mails or text to might have been on your blackberry if dhaka with at the time you left news international? >> mo although when we got the
image back and was from mr. cameron it was compressed into the june but there's no content in it. >> so it is a complete mystery is that right? >> did you receive messages or comments ressa more support from politicians in july, 2011? >> some. are they directly or indirectly? >> mainly indirectly. >> in order to get a fair picture focused on one individual alone the picture would largely be distorted where their systems you received such messages? >> i have some indirect messages but nothing direct. >> the indirect ones who were the politicians? >> aver ayittey really, but a
couple of labor politicians, very few labor politicians. >> can we be a bit more specific? >> i received some indirect messages from number ten, number 11 and he homophonous -- home office. >> so you're talking about the secretary of the state the prime minister. >> and also people that worked in those offices. >> labor politicians? >> like i said there were very few politicians in that. >> mr. blair did he send you one? >> yes. >> probably not mr. brown. >> no. >> it has been reported in relation to mr. cameron whether
it's true that you received messages supported on the lines keep your head up. from mr. cameron indirectly. >> i did at times. along those lines i don't think, but all along those lines. >> is it right. >> but it was in direct. >> also did you receive a message from him along these lines this party i could not have been as loss of you as i have been but mr. levin has had the on the run or words to that effect? >> similar but very indirectly. >> so broadly speaking, that message was submitted to you, was it? >> yes.
>> did you happen to know how these messages enter the public? >> we have a very strong prepress who have great access to politicians. >> we may be coming back to that, but you can't be of any more? >> i'm a journalist doing my job. >> mr. cameron also said publicly we've all got news international or words to that effect. was that a view that he ever communicated to you personally? >> no. >> what about mr. murdoch's background? we know he told the house of lords communications committee, and this was back in 2007 when he was spoken to i think and new york that he was a traditional proprietor who exercised his editorial control on major
issues by which parties are back in a general election our policy. do you agree with that or not? >> yes. >> does this apply as much to the news of the world and to sum it only applies to the sum? >> i think mr. murdoch is probably more interested in to the news of the world when i was there. >> your evidence in the committee, question 1461, i think it's fair to say that in the appointment he knew me pretty well. you stand by that? >> particularly before my editor appointment in the sun. >> 2003 come and probably in 2000 when you were appointed editor of news of the world or not? >> lasso. >> question 1462, he's been aware of my views, council views
and political views. do you stand by that are not? when you said take your applicable mr. murdoch was absolutely aware of my views on europe getting even before i became editor of news of the world may even deputy editor. >> yes. >> europe presumably, you are a u.s. skeptic, correct? >> yes. >> and politically your opposition? >> we disagree about quite a few things, and in the margins.
the environment, the database, immigration, paper versus serious issues, columnist stealing the headlines, i mean, you know, we had a lot of disagreements. but on the big issues. >> on the issue amount of celebrity against, where to each of you stand on that? >> i like more celebrity and he wanted more serious issues. >> why did he want more celebrities? >> well, i thought of the readers were quite interested in looking at the view of bbc to see that the celebrity programs for the reality programs that do so well, and i took from those figures that were quite
interested in dhaka. he thought there is too much of it. >> in terms of your social and council views, not going to pry into that too much but are you a strong believer in human rights? >> not particularly, no. in its form obviously in its existence, absolutely. but there were parts of the human rights act that we campaigned when i was there and at one point the conservative party but he was going to repeal and replace it with a british bill of rights. i think that was the case and that has now been dropped. >> when you were appointed editor of news of the world in 2000 was that mr. murdoch's decision? >> i was told i was went be made editor of news of the world and i didn't speak to mr. murdoch until after that.
>> but was it his decision? >> i think was his strong recommendation, and like i said, i didn't speak to mr. murdoch until i had actually taken the job. >> some discussion in the seminar we had in october in relation to the parks you are able to enlighten us on that? >> i wasn't there at the times. >> the editorial line you took in relation to the sun reflect mr. murdoch's thinking? >> as i said in my witness statement, hit really is important to differentiate between mr. murdoch's thinking, my thinking, the political thinking and the thinking of the readers. i know i spent a lot of time on my witness statement, but to get across the point that, you know,
the readers views were always reflected in any policy or a politician or political party. i know mr. murdoch when he gave evidence he said if they want to know what i think, read the editorial but i don't think that he was being totally literal about that. >> the evidence was exactly if you want to see my thinking look at the sun, those were the words he used. whether there was an ill regarded remark or not wasn't fair to say but some think it was a response to questions on justice leveson. >> i don't think it was bill gardiner, i just don't think it was liberal. >> why not? >> there were lots of things that would reflect. >> on the big points, not on the menu should would you agree?
>> paragraph 12 of your witness statement moving on not the second statement, you get a little sketch of what it represents and talks about and the attitude in a particular class then you say sometimes the relationship between the sun and its readers reflect the national conversation. you wanted to know what the nation was talking about you would look at the sun. there's a little contrast hear someone say if you want to know what mr. murdoch is thinking look at the sun and then you're saying if you want to know what the nation is talking about look at the sun. which is correct? >> the one in my witness statement. >> why do you say that? >> because i wrote it and i believe it. >> what you mean about the nation here? >> if you think that the sun and for many years has been the
biggest selling newspaper in the country that the database overtook the news of the world i think about five years ago and maybe longer actually in circulation terms you have a huge readership and i don't know the facts are today but we use this as 8 million. the daily mail list 68. so i am basing this on such a large percentage of the british population who would come in contact with the sun and it might not read this every day but they would contact them at some point or another. >> you are addressing a different point because it seems the nature and its monolithic call which it isn't, the bigger the readership is it might be more diverse and rather than more singular views. do you see that? >> i do see that point and i make it later on in my witness
statement which is and this has been touched on in the inquiry it's become more and more influential and more and more important over the newspapers because it's the fact that newspaper circulation in the printed form are declining so why do accept that. and was meant to say if for example you know the conversation in the past or the conversation at work so during the majesty united clash, you know, that conversation, the incident that would be talked about and that's what i meant by the national conversation. it wasn't meant to be taken more literally than that. >> it's a reflection as the sort of debate which you would hear in the dining room table or whatever is not a reflection of the individual view of the leadership is that a fair description? >> no, not particularly.
i'm leading into 15 in the mix to explode to newspaper editors are providing fox that's true isn't it? >> we are not elected officials. secure saying it is a mix, it's the truth, newspaper editors are unelected. >> if you view them as that i don't few editors as unelected forces. >> how do you view them? >> journalists. >> is the point you are really making on the paragraph 15 not about the unelected force one could talk about the and elected
or undemocratic if you are shaping and changing the government's policy to suit you're own interest. that is the myth that you are talking about. >> that is also what i was getting at, yes. >> but there is no doubt or perhaps you'd disagree that newspaper editors and proprietors are a powerful force. they have a voice, they have a megaphone. >> iowa understand what you're saying. i think what i'm trying to say is particularly the newspapers like the sun you have to, your power is your readership. it's not the individual power and it is the readership power and i think that is really important. if he fell under a boss, the
power of his office would go and i think just adding to this point of the readers are the most powerful and they could reflect their justices that we try to tackle and try to engage in so i just don't see what the question was but i was more of reacting to the fact that every day of the readers cannot elect us as newspapers. >> we've heard that several times, but i think we discussed this yesterday with certainty in the recent past the extent to which editors are reactive and the extent to which they can in fact lead opinions. they've got to reflect the overall position of the readership.
i understand that. when they know the leaders would follow them, but they are in the position to lead opinions. would you agree with that? >> i need you can present issues to the leadership, yes, and that is part of being an editor petraeus mcginn you presented these views with a certain spin, don't you? >> depending on the paper, yes. >> i wouldn't say spin i would say attitude. >> what perspective than? >> okay. >> you mentioned there was an attitude in particular may be that permeates throughout. when your editor of news of the world we had evidence yesterday that contact mr. murdoch had
what is pete evident or difference in that way, the amount of contact and the discussions? >> what did he say, sir? >> it was on saturday evening it might be twice a month it might be less often than that. >> i'm sure that is right at news of the world. as kimmage and he was interested in the big stories? >> occasionally. >> his contact with news of the world was much more limited than the sun or other newspapers. >> when you become editor of the sun which is 2003, paragraph fi as of your statement you say that you believe that mr. murdoch in your appointment is that right? >> yes. >> do you know that to be true?
>> i know that to be true. >> how often would he speak to you when you are editor of the sun? >> very frequently. >> to give us an idea? >> well it wasn't a regular patent. sometimes it could be every day. sometimes it's something else going on around the world and would be less than not, but very frequently. >> even when he wasn't in this country is that right? >> mainly when he wasn't in the country, yes. >> you had a close relationship with mr. murdoch and various stories you used to sing together when he was in london is that true? >> i didn't. >> november, 2005, we recall that you were arrested for
alleged assault on your ex-husband. do you recall that? >> i do recall that. >> you've been to the 42nd birthday party of matthew freud that evening, had you? >> i don't know if that was the birth date, but yes. >> and so, evidently other members of the family would have been there, wouldn't they? >> i can't remember, not particularly. >> mr. rupert murdoch was there wasn't he? >> no, he wasn't. >> it said that you kept him waiting for a breakfast meeting the following morning. is that the truth? >> no. >> and he sent a dress to the police station is that true? >> nope. >> this is all fiction? >> completely. where is it from? >> of various sources. [laughter] >> you need a better source is.
>> confidential sources in the public domain actually but i am not expressing a view on their reliability. leading up to a question much later on in relation to all of this. there is evidence i've seen that there was a 40th birthday party at your and mr. roemer dak's house is that correct? >> that is correct. spinnaker politicians there on that occasion? >> they were. mr. blair was there on that occasion was that he? >> was a surprise party for me, so i know mr. blair was there. i'm not sure if mr. cameron was. possibly. >> there are stories as to what the birthday present was. i'm not going to have skewed. >> you asked me if i've been swimming with mr. murdoch. please ask me about the birthday
present. [laughter] in 2006 you were appointed the chief executive officer of news international. >> 2009 petraeus too paragraph 29, excuse me to read was that his idea? >> i discussed that appointment james andrews murdoch. >> where did rupert murdoch find it? >> i think it was in the beginning, but both of them. >> why was that job of interest to you? >> i think i've been editing the sun for seven years by then and interested in, very interested like most journalists are looking at the future economic models of journalism and basically how you continue to financially keep high-quality journalism going, and i think the digital age and the ipad,
they were all of interest to me and something that i was looking forward to doing. >> i think he was your strong recommendation is that right? >> yes. he's been my deputy for her a few years, so i've seen the paper that he edited in my absence and also i had attended a few business management programs in the last year as my editing the sun, modules some internal management programs has had much more time on the people on his own and i'd thought he had done a very good job. >> in terms of the political perspective five mentioned earlier, where you stood with
mr. murdoch, does he stand in the same place or a different place? >> the government is not entirely the same as i or mr. murdoch, we all have different shades of gray. >> the same color though. >> not necessarily. islamic july, 2011, were you embarrassed when mr. murdoch indicated that you were his priority? >> you are referring to the -- in the st.? >> indeed. >> i wasn't at that time because i didn't think that's what he was saying. he was being asked by many reporters lots of different questions, and if someone said what is your priority and he looked towards me and he said this one.
i took that to mean this issue. was the next day when i saw how it could have also been interpreted in the papers i realized that was the interpretation that they put on it so i wasn't embarrassed at the time. >> relationships with politicians, can we go back to mr. blair and do this chronologically. paragraph 53 of your statement. you say you met him on the numerous occasions and these meetings increased in frequency throughout the decade at as prime minister. have many social meetings with him some of which have been able to detail we've also spoken on the telephone on a number of issues so you are getting a picture here of the people in contact or the contact that became very frequent, is that
>> salado telephone contact is only on the landline, is it? >> yes. tony blair, a senior cabinet advisor were a constant in my life for many years. why do you think that was? >> i think they made sure it was and i wasn't unique in that. >> what you think they made sure it was? >> i think you have to look particularly at alastair campbell's appointment. he came from being added to the daily mirror and tony blair's advisers put a huge store on certain newspapers and i think
that he made, should we say a shift change from the nature government into trying to get as much data to the process as possible. millions of books have been written about it. it wasn't a particularly insightful content. >> it is just the son reacting to its readers. it do you a breeder team to the readers. >> not at all. >> your narrative is coming from the politicians. >> i think the point as new labour, if you like them embracing the media in a different way was they felt they have good stories to tell about the changes they want to make or
have made about the labour party. on the pricey side can then be included where journalists and access to politicians can tell us things that we don't know how to explain things going on, and that's a journalist's job. >> tell us the politicians accounts. how can you do that? they are constant prudence. >> very easily because to complain that quite easily to go in to account for it. it was in a constant presence. on behalf of its readers. >> if at all the line is crossed, a friendship develops during typically develops develops and the constant presence is in danger of being abuse. >> well, i gained if a politician or prime minister as
if they friendship for a media executive for a media company in front of his or her abilities to do that professional duties properly than it is failing. i think it could turn on us ever compromise the leadership or role as a journalist and threw friendship, then that is not failing. so you -- i think simply put. >> tony blair and new labour were masters of spin. what steps if any did you take to counteract that way >> first of all, i didn't court in brown and charlie reeder were masters of spin. i think in terms that -- i don't think it's often reported that it was tony blair and alastair
campbell, but i think the whole of new labour engaged in a new way, and more intensely with the media when they came to power. >> what steps if any did you take to counteract that click >> i don't think any journalist takes the story from politician or a line from a politician and repeats it without checking it or unlike name it. the role of a journalist is to not gather information. it's also to analyze and process information. >> were you on mr. blair's side, you just made that clear the answer you gave a minute ago, wouldn't you agree? >> i think when you add with a party in the way that was in 1997 i was a close observer. i don't think he backed him wholeheartedly. in fact, i think if you look at the pages from 1997 and so when
tony blair left in 2007, you would at some point be quite confused that it is actually supporting that party, particularly on year. but there's other issues as well. >> is a level of personality in the class of pairwise between mr. blair and mr. brown which you speak to in your statement. you are in mr. blair's site, weren't you? >> i think you're talking about the hostilities between court in brown and tony blair. >> you're attacking about the first instance. >> what is the question? >> you are in mr. blair's side, not mr. brown's side, weren't you? >> what i said in the statement was that in the latter years, and again, it's been much political commentary this term, much of which you've asked me to read for this inquiry, but the
latter years of tony blair's prime minister should, the hostilities between him and gordon brown has been increasingly worse. and so they are to become a sort of tony blair at camp and the court brown camp. and our particular issues, for example, the world reform bill i think was we first tried to get through in 2004, hostilities between gordon brown and tony blair were such that it didn't get through at that time. we tried again it's very important to have an insight of the hostilities for effect in the way to govern. so you would have an opinion on them. >> whose side were you on? >> neither. on the side of the readers. it wasn't an automatic given that alastair campbell or charlie william were telling you the truth.
it was our job to judge and analyze it. >> you told us you were friends with mr. blair. was your relationship with mr. brown on the same level, where you were friends? >> i was actually friends with sir brown, his amazing lady. and that was the friendship, so probably not. >> now, you are more friendly with mr. play it anywhere with mr. brown. >> ibm, yes, but not at the beginning. and as mr. murdoch said in his testimony, he had a very warm relationship with mr. brown and others see gordon brown quite regularly, too. >> all the commentators say and we'll come back to this, but in relation to this feud, you took the side of mr. blair and not mr. brown. did you or didn't you? >> i think you have to say which part of the feud.
very many, many elements. for example, in the famous curry house coup, i think we did in fact take mr. blair said because the country was almost on ice because of the hostility. i felt an injustice and on behalf of our readers the policy wasn't getting through. but not always. no, not always. >> most of the time. can we agree on that? >> i'm reluctant to agree because i'm not quite sure. but in the end, particularly we were on the side of mr. blair. >> basically in the fair interest of your readers to maintain impartiality is between them. is that what the french tell us? >> impartiality is? >> three mr. brown and
mr. blair. >> i'm sorry, what is the question? >> in fact he didn't take either side. you say this was an entirely neutral story. >> it wasn't playground. they were the prime minister and chance are the exchequer. they were a newspaper looking after the real serious concerns of our readers. so pleasant that i would stand in one corner of the playground and alan westbridge withstand the other and he was on tony gordon said. he just didn't that. every story, every feud, every mediation by john prescott or peter mandelson at the time this analyst by the media and just in a proper way. i think you can catch it late at. >> is it true that in exchange
for generally speaking mr. blair, the sun would often be the first to receive an excuse or this new labour government bush to go down? >> i like to think we were the first to receive this degree of political journal. but we did get a lot. >> with respect to you? >> not all of them were particularly pleasant, so no. >> some of them were with you, now? >> trevor and i had some good courses. >> mr. blair and sawyer-- mr. blair himself was a good source? >> as you said yourself you don't reveal your sources. [inaudible] >> tab three, you put in a
revised version. >> heavily? okay. >> we need to be absolutely clear about it. you're not than this sort necessarily as 100% complete. and to the documents you've told some meanings may not be included. for this to not be seen as either an indicative. is that the way people wish to put it? >> that's correct. >> we know from alastair campbell's diary that there was a dinner on the 27th of april april 1997, you and your ex has been mr. blair, mr. campbell, which was four days before the famous selection of the first of may, in 1897. do you recall that? >> not particularly, but i'm sure it is correct.
we were following mr. blair's conference or last conference on education in the papers, so i think it has to do with that, but i can't remember. obviously you are going to be discussing what was 99% is huge brown huge parts of the labor party. >> i know there is immediate and education rally. it might be one of the same things. >> decided just mr. blair or can it mean others present? >> i would say that up until
quite late in that editorship of the sun but though dinners have been attended by political and and especially all prime ministers do this to groups as they come into the mainstream and sit down with the editor and the vice senior executives, you know come and discuss issues of the day. i think most of that would've been not format. >> and in restaurants, how does that work? >> in 1999, i doubt that very much. but again i'm sorry that is literally what it said in a diary. i probably better nose at news international. >> if you look at 2003 at 2000. 2007, you'll have memories not of particular events, but for what other people were there on the occasion.
>> like everybody else have a better recollection of 2003 by the day in 1999 when it was 13, 14 years ago. >> i'm asking that a particular entry. i'm asking whether you eat dinner with the prime minister in a restaurant. >> i think in that. i must remember it had about three dinners with mr. blair. >> you see one dinner with elizabeth murdoch. one he let mr. blair for you to the home of mr. freud and mr. murdoch. is that correct or not? >> now, once.
>> you can only remember one or are you sure there's only one? >> i took mr. blair to the home of matthew. >> you were there on the same occasion whether you took them are not. >> and that company, but on occasion, yes he was fair. >> does that ever happen? >> no. >> you say on occasion. can you give us a feel for the number of occasions that the home of matthew freud and mr. murdoch when he was prime minister? >> i think quite few. >> the u.s. in very few. >> will you look at the
elections of 1990 and 2001 in 2005 with the support of your newspaper, whether it be news that the world where the sun and even though you weren't editor 1997, with mr. blair or his advisors. >> i have no idea what 1997. not in 2001 that i can remember. but in 2005, it is a very difficult time for the labour party. and i think i'm pretty sure was michael howard, leader of the opposition at that time. and so, at the time of my editorship we are very evenhanded. that election process. kids need equally to party
policy and process. i'm not sure we had a conversation with the labour party about a supporter. >> in 2005, the sun did support the labour party. that is a matter of the records that changed of course since it tender 2009. the question was, was the fact of prior discussion or his advisors? >> not that i can remember, no. it wouldn't be that way. in fact, i think in 2005, again it's very difficult. i wish i had some access to my notes, but i think in 2005 "the sun," we lift your right to the day. i think we erect good instead of a vatican file chimney on the roof of west bank and whatever colored smoke -- sorry, it was
funny at the time. clearly not in translation now. but whatever smoke at the time came out. so we had red smoke and blue smoke. i'm not sure we could find any other smoke at the time. we clearly would need it now. and i think we left it. as i remember it being on the roof and looking down and seeing all the press guys there, waiting for the color to come out. and i didn't see mr. layer. >> that wasn't the question was a more straightforward one. was the son support one of prior discussion? >> i keep saying the same thing. no, i don't remember having a prior discussion. if i'm correct in the 2005 vatican chimney we didn't tell
anyone until he got to the roof of what color is coming out. >> did you at least make it clear to mr. blair and his advisers before that election which aspects of labour party policy would be less or more acceptable to your readers? >> there was not a particular discussion about policy, but it would e. fair to say that leading up to the 2005 general election there was a huge debate on the next stage of the european constitution. and "the sun," the daily mail and i think the telegraph were out campaigning quite hard to have a referendum put in the 2005 manifesto. and so yes, that would've been subject to discussion, you know, if there any meetings 32,005.
>> was just like that one particular part, which is tab 27. which is in "the sun. do you remember this one, mrs. brooks? >> sorry, i'm just trying to -- just come this. i've got it now. hope -- of gordon brown's chances of becoming prime minister. >> it's from it online so you know it's 2005. mr. blair decided last two weeks with the support election.
was that piece the outcome of a conversation between you and mr. blair? >> i think the byline will be tried for kavner. trevor and i had some good sources and i don't think it's fair to reveal who goes where. >> i think you can tell me whether his mr. blair himself, had he planted those himself. >> i don't think i can tell you that at all. although i do remember this story that i seem sometime in 2004, and this is going from memory, gordon brown had felt that he had to come to an agreement. -- had come to an agreement that he would come down before the
2005 election and at some point between an agreement in 2004, which it inquisitor in the summer, when they all came back from recess, i think tony blair changed his mind and trevor knight heard about it. we asked everybody and we got the story. >> it is also suggested that he passed on material intelligence, call it what you owe, going from your future nurse with gordon brown. you pass them onto tony blair. is that true or not? >> he suggested that? >> doesn't matter. in some ways tattooing your sources are i'm not going to tell you mine. >> no, i think your source might be john prescott. and it's not true. >> completely untrue. >> not true.
>> we can see the schedule that she was much less contact with mr. graham when he was prime minister then you have had with mr. blair when he was prime minister. would you agree? >> well, he was prime minister for very long and in 2009, the son came out for the chewers and contact was very limited after that. >> but it starts on the 30th of march 2009 with a telephone call and that's the less contact you recorded. >> on sorry. can i just check that date? >> yes. thirtieth of march 2009. d.c. that one? >> i can't, but i'm not sure that's true.
>> well, unless the diary is incomplete, it's true. >> the diaries are varied complete. i do want to make this point. they're very incomplete. i would've seen gordon brown between 30th of march 2009 and i saw that the labour party conference in september 2009. then i remember at least one occasion going to downing street. again, i am sorry for the diaries that are see, the purchase ipas desk diaries. they don't have everything in. >> after the 30th of march 2009, "the sun" was moving inexorably towards supporting the conservative party, was in that? >> i think the petition at the time was not an overwhelming support for the tory party, but we had a few major issues in
which we had, on behalf of our readers, particularly on afghanistan, fallen out with gordon brown's government and i think around march 2009, may have been a bit later. i think that is when gordon brown announced a referendum that had been promised in the 2005 manifesto in the european cup she showed, they were going to renege on that promise. again, i did get was the mail and the telegraph and the stand who particularly called them for a snap election in the autumn of 2009 because the referendum was a hard-fought battle, population one at the referendum of the
constitution so we've fallen out with each other, but i still saw him on that day. >> that wasn't really the question at all. at the 30th of march 2009, "the sun" was moving and struck a bleak towards moving the party. is that sure in her? >> i'm sorry. i thought i had said at the beginning advantage the question that wasn't quite the way they describe it. more than we were running out of ways to support mr. brown's government. we are moving inexorably towards withdrawing support of the labour party. couldn't formulate that? >> we could. >> could i just ask about one sentence in what you just said? you spoke a -- let me just find it.
he spoke of pursuing matters on behalf of dear readers. i am just wondering what you did to discover that he is a du jour readers i say for those that communicated with you. in other words, if you've got millions of readers, how are you identifying their views? or are you reading the rooms of what -- what you believe the correct approach is, supported by those who are vigorous enough to cause review and taking up
over? i'm trying to find a balance. >> i think on europe, our european campaign, which has been a long tradition at fenway before i became added or, but believed in it to come on particularly the european constitution, which spent publicly since 2005 in the sentence was in 2009, we're pretty sure of share of whatever appears set on that later. we have lots of polls that had been done. i think the mail and phone lines to colin. you know, it should be kept by the referendums. there is a lot of feedback from the readers on that particular issue. and on afghanistan, i think is fair to the campaign that we are considered to be a very